The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered a Crossville, Tennessee-based trucking company, Rock City Stone Company, LLC, to immediately cease all transportation in commerce of explosives and/or a placardable quantity of hazardous material after a federal investigation found the company poses an imminent hazard to public safety.
The company does business as RC Stone & Farms and, on March 23, one of their vehicles was subjected to an unannounced roadside safety inspection by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Finding that the pickup truck was transporting explosives in violation of numerous federal Hazardous Materials Regulations as well as FMCSA regulations, the vehicle and the driver were immediately placed out-of-service.
Found in the bed of the truck were a number of Class 1 explosives including ammonium nitrate-fuel oil mixture, electric detonators, blasting caps, and detonating cord. The Class 1 explosives were piled in the truck bed next to metal objects, including pipes, buckets and work tools, and inside a bent metal toolbox. The detonators and detonation cord were improperly stored in an unmarked cardboard box.
Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators found that RC Stone & Farm had not prepared HM shipping papers, had not placed HM placards on the vehicle, and had not prepared emergency response information to be used in the mitigation of a hazardous materials incident – all violations of federal safety regulations.
The driver of the RC Stone & Farm vehicle also did not possess a commercial driver’s license, an HM endorsement or a medical certificate.
RC Stone and Farm may be assessed civil penalties of up to $25,705 for each violation of the out-of-service order. The carrier may also be assessed civil penalties of up to $14,502 for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without necessary DOT registration. If violations are determined to be willful, criminal penalties may be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year.